Surrounded by the beautiful bayside wetlands, Aspendale Gardens Primary School is a large primary school in the South Eastern Victorian Region (SEVR). In 2019 the enrolment will be 700 students. The multi-cultural nature of the school is a great asset, enriching the educational experiences of all students.
The school is located on spacious well maintained grounds with 31 classrooms along with two Art rooms, Library, Information Technology area, two Performing Arts rooms, a gymnasium with full sized indoor basketball court, Friendship room, Kitchen/Dining room and two Language Other Than English (LOTE) - Mandarin rooms. The school grounds are extensive and contain two junior and one senior playground, sandpit and large open playing field. An outstanding aspect of the school is the vegetable garden which is extensive. The Kitchen Garden program employs a Horticultural Specialist and a Food Technician, that educates students on the value of growing, harvesting and cooking their own produce. There are also quiet areas scattered throughout the courtyard and surrounds. The Before and After School Care program has its own designated area.
Aspendale Gardens PS staff are dedicated and committed to developing a learning environment which maximises the overall educational needs of students. The school encourages team planning and shared experiences across year levels. There are team leaders at each year level who monitor the International Baccalaureate PYP approach to our teaching and learning program. Specialist teaching is provided in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Physical Education which included the Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) for Foundation and Year 1 students and our Language Other Than English (LOTE) taught is Chinese Mandarin
Teams take on the leadership of special events including the bi-annual carnival and whole school production, Science Fair and Art Expo. The school regularly supports charities and events to provide learning and understanding of the wide world around us along with our local community. We also assist a school and orphanage in Cambodia with annual fundraising events. The school enjoys a fruitful relationship with its sister school in Nanjing, China where students participate annually in an exchange program. Aspendale Gardens PS has recently formed a second sister school relationship with Yangzhou Yucai Primary School. Students, teachers and the wider community are enriched by these cultural experiences.
Aspendale Gardens PS participates in the Marine Ambassadors Program which engages the school community in Marine Education and Conservation. Our extensive Leadership Program provides opportunities for many senior students to take on a variety of roles. We have two Student Representative Councils, a Senior and a Junior, with each consisting of 16 students being elected.
Students are able to receive one on one or group music tuition in the areas of singing, violin, keyboard, guitar and drums. All students have the opportunity to participate in an intensive swimming program and a broad excursion/incursion and school camping program (Yr 3-6). There are many and varied lunchtime acivities including chess, drama, dance, French, choir and robotics.
The school has a very active parent community. Many parents support the school through involvement in classroom programs, fundraising, sports activities, camps and excursions, kitchen/garden and numerous other activities.
The school has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, being iPads in Years 4–Year 6. The use of Interactive Whiteboards in all classrooms, iPads whenever possible, and the IT area, allows students to access information at all times. The school has upgraded its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure which makes our school first class in this area. All classes are straight grades aligned with the Victorian Curriculum. Aspendale Gardens PS is an accredited International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school.
Student Wellbeing is an important focus and all staff are trained in Restorative Practices. The school values are aligned with the IB PYP attitudes which are Appreciation, Commitment, Confidence, Cooperation, Creativity, Curiosity, Enthusiasm, Independence, Integrity, Tolerance and we have added Resilience. Additional literacy support is offered when required via our PALS (Providing Additional Literacy Support) program, Mathletes is offered for the highly talented Mathematics students and a number of other support and extension programs are available.
The school aims to provide a teaching and learning program of the highest quality. A positive approach to student management and the development of positive relationships within the school community is a critical part of its philosophy.
A whole school approach to collaborative decision making is our approach which enables Empowering Broad-Based Action (Kotter, 1996, p.21). The responsibility for pedagogical leadership within the school is a shared responsibility. A student-centred approach to teaching and learning is adopted, with all staff following the PYP learning cycle and student self-reporting. Students engage in rich conversations about the Units of Inquiry, as evidenced by the quality and diversity of the work students produce.
A major highlight at Aspendale Gardens PS is the positive school culture. The students, staff and parents enjoy coming to school and make a very positive difference to everyone they interact with throughout the day.